‘Human Resources Management’ Category
What is a typical timeline for an interoffice move? At the company I work for you must be in your current position for one year before you can apply anywhere else in the company. We are worried that we are losing good people b/c they do not want to stay in a particular department for a year. What is typical practice regarding this issue?
A probation period whether for new hires, transfers or promotions is a set period of time for the employer to evaluate the performance of an employee. Average time frames for probation periods are 30 to 90 days. Some employers use six months to a year for a probation period depending on industry.
It’s important for employers to consider what a probation period attempts to accomplish for the company. In most companies, it’s a tool used to ensure a newly hired, promoted, or transferred employee is capable of meeting the job expectations and is suitable for the position. So, assuming an employee would experience the full scope of his position within a few months then a period of up to 90 days would suffice. However, it’s a good idea to find out why the company has such a long probation period. You may find that there are legitimate reasons for doing so.
In general, requiring employees to remain in their position for one year seems excessive and you’re probably right that such a policy results in employee turnover. Employees want to be rewarded for doing a good job and supported if their struggling in their work. If an employee is exceeding job expectations and is better suited for an advanced position holding them back for a full year would inevitably discourage them and push them to seek better employment opportunities elsewhere. Conversely, an employee who is performing poorly in one position but has a better skill set for a different position would feel helpless and might eventually be terminated or resign if he is unable to transfer to a more suitable position.
Do we have to have a job application for employees who are rehired during school breaks – Christmas, spring, and summer?
An employment application is an important part of the hiring process even when rehiring a previous employee. Employment applications whether in print or online give the employer a legally defensible listing of the applicant’s education, work history, credentials, and attestation to criminal convictions or similar inquiries, if permissible in your state. Requiring applications for rehires ensures the employer has up to date information on file. Additionally, if certain credentials or certifications are necessary for employment the employer has the obligation to ensure such items are up to date. By not mandating the applications an employer may be leaving itself open to unnecessary risk.
The level of risk assumed by not requiring rehires to complete applications depends on the industry. Let’s say a daycare center employs seasonal workers during the summer months. The company prefers to rehire the same workers each summer. The initial employment application requires the applicant to confirm he has a valid driver’s license and disclose his driving record since he will be responsible for transporting children on day trips. On the initial employment application the applicant stated he had a valid driver’s license and a clean driving record. Now, two summers later, assuming the employer doesn’t require rehires to complete new applications, the same employee has a vehicle accident with several daycare children injured in the collision. Upon investigation it’s discovered that the worker has been convicted of several motor vehicle violations including speeding and DWI. Additionally, his driver’s license is currently suspended. If the employer would’ve known this information prior to rehiring the individual appropriate measures could have been taken to avoid the unfortunate situation. The employer may have chosen not to rehire the employee or at least rehire the employee with the agreement that he is not allowed to transport children.
Another example is a retailer hiring seasonal employees. The retailer tends to rehire the same workers each season and requires each previous employee to complete a new employment application as well as go through the standard hiring process ie background check, drug screening etc… This season the retailer discovers that one of the normal rehires was fired from his last employer for stealing from the company and was convicted of shoplifting. Understandably so, the employer chooses not to rehire the worker.
It’s up to you to determine if taking a few extra steps to screen rehires would be beneficial to your company. Keep in mind that your due diligence can go a long way in avoiding potential risks for your company and staff.
In Illinois, is it ok to deduct wages from an employees final paycheck if that employee has taken an advance on their accrued PTO? If so, does the employer need to state in their policy that PTO is accrued at a certain rate and that approved advances of accrued PTO will in fact be deducted from final wages upon separation?
Thanks for the help!
According to the Illinois Department of Labor, IDOL, employers are required to compensate employees for unused accrued vacation time at the time the employment terminates. Any other forms of paid time off such as sick or holiday time are not required to be paid out unless an employer’s policy or employment contract states so. There is no legislation prohibiting the deduction of wages from an employee’s final paycheck to recoup an advance for paid time off. However, per the Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act, deductions from final compensation are permissible if such deductions are required by law, benefit the employee, in response to a wage reduction order, or are made with the written consent of the employee at the time of the deduction. Even though there is no legislation expressly prohibiting the deduction of a PTO advance it can be assumed that doing so would be unlawful unless the employee authorizes the deduction in writing when the deduction occurs.
What is the federal law for employees that constantly forget to clock in and clock out?
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that employees be paid for time worked. Exempt employees receive a base salary for each pay period worked and non-exempt employees are paid for each hour worked including overtime hours exceeding forty in a given work week. Employers are required to maintain records for all non-exempt employees including the date and hours worked. The FLSA doesn’t require the same detailed record keeping for exempt employees; however, employers are allowed to track hours worked by exempt employees for reasons such as paid time off accrual or leave eligibility determination for the Family and Medical Leave Act.
A specific method of record keeping is not mandated; so, employers can choose a method best suited for their organization such as a time clocking system, a timekeeper, or have the employees manually write down hours. Regardless of the method used to record an employee’s hours worked, the employer is required to pay the employee. It is the employer’s responsibility to find out the hours worked by the employee who didn’t appropriately record his time and pay him accordingly. Again, it’s unlawful not to pay an employee for time worked even if he fails to clock in or out on a constant basis.
Disciplinary measures can be taken to discourage employees from forgetting to clock in or out. Establish a clear policy for time keeping expectations specifically how to clock in/out, grace periods, if any, and the consequences of failing to adhere to the policy. A verbal warning should suffice for first time instances. It’s also a good idea for whoever speaks to the employee to ascertain if there is a reason the employee is not clocking in our out. Is it basic attendance issues or is it possible the time clock is in an inconvenient location? Continuous failure to clock in or out should result in written warnings and eventually termination for failure to abide by company policy.
I know that CA prohibits use it or lose it Vacation/PTO practices because vacation is treated as wages. Do you know of any other states that prohibit this practice?
California, Montana, and Nebraska expressly prohibit use it or lose vacation policies. Keep in mind that although the adoption of a use it or lose it policy may be permissible; some states impose regulations on its administration. Illinois and Indiana permit a paid time off policy requiring employees to use their time by a set date or lose it as long as the employees have reasonable opportunities to use the time off. Use it or lose it policies are permitted in Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Oregon as long as adequate notice is given to employees and employees have a reasonable time period to use the paid time off. States such as Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and West Virginia require such a policy to be in writing. Additionally, Wisconsin mandates that such a policy must be signed by employees. New York, Ohio, and Oklahoma require that employees receive notice of a use it or lose it policy.
Most states with legislation regarding vacation time require employers to comply with the terms of their policy, contract, or past practice.
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